My Orca Bay quilt is finished! I think it is a beautiful quilt but I don’t know if I would want to make another one as there are over 4,000 pieces in it!
The finished size was 72 x 80 before I washed it. It didn’t shrink much as all of the fabrics had been washed….after washing it is 70 x 78. Can you tell we finally had some rain…look how the grass turned green! I like to take my photos outside before I wash the quilt.
Orca Bay was a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville’s Quips & Snips! I believe she does one ever winter. This one is no longer on her website but is in one of her new books.
I think part of the reason I took so long to quilt this was…..I didn’t know how I wanted to quilt it. There are seams everywhere, I thought about a large stipple and then lately I’ve been doing these circular designs so I decided to try that.
See the difference after washing and drying! It looks like an antique. This has to be one of the heaviest quilts I have made……must be because of all of the seams.
A couple things I learned:
- This is a great quilting design to use when you have tons and tons of seams…I just wiggled a little bit this way or that way to miss a bulky seam.
- This is not a easy design to do on a big quilt using a domestic machine….my arms where killing me from all the circular movements.
- Don’t get careless! I almost caught my finger in the needle several times…okay maybe I was going too fast.
I have had several people ask how I manage to quilt a big quilt on a domestic machine….I just figure if I want it done and don’t have a long-arm I can do it!
The important thing is to not have any of the quilt hanging off of your table. See how the quilt is all scrunched up behind the machine, if it hangs over the weight will make to hard to quilt.
Having something on the left side to support the quilt will make a big difference – you can set up your ironing board….just make it as low as your table.
My 15-91 Singer sewing machine has a 7 inch harp – that is the distance from the needle to the right side of the machine (the area below the Singer emblem). I can really squish a lot of fabric in that space. I don’t roll the quilt.
I always start quilting in the middle…once you get that part done it gets easier to work on the quilt. I think one of the reasons I love meandering or stipplequilting is because I start in one spot and continue with my quilting – no open spaces. If I do this I have never had a pleat form on the back…..I also don’t use a lot of pins…..maybe every 12 inches. I make sure my batting and backing is about 6 inches bigger on all sides.
I don’t wear gloves…..I have tried them but I prefer my bare hands….I do use Neutrogena hand cream which gives my fingers better grip (note to self: getting low…buy more at Wal-mart).
I always seem to have several sewing machines set up in my room. I have one backed up to my 15-91 Singer and open the hinged top, put the machine down inside and place a piece of board on top (so my quilt doesn’t fall in the hole where the machine is). If you are looking for a slick surface just read below for some information on a table.
Below is a old photo when I used a folding table with 3 layers of Styrofoam and clear vinyl wrapped around it to make it slick. I could remove the back sewing machine and put in extra pieces of Styrofoam for a big flat table. The shelf by the window had a piece I could put on top to make it level so I had room behind and to the left for quilting.
If you are interested in making a table like this you can read about it here.
You can click here to see all the different posts when I was making this quilt. It was a lot of fun and I will definitely take part in Bonnie’s next one. Of course…..I should finish my Roll, Roll Cotton Bowl quilt from her mystery….2 years ago.
I have had people asked before about washing quilts in your washing machine….a year ago we needed a new one and the one thing I asked for was a extra large tub with the capability of doing bulky items like comforters. When the cycle is done the quilt looks like a bubble in my machine and it isn’t twisted at all.